Amanda – TACT Foster Carer Since 2019
Before becoming a Foster Carer, my background was in nursing and then being a full-time mum. I enjoy being at home along with my love for children and young people, so fostering seemed like the perfect job for me!
Fostering has featured largely in my family. My brother was a foster carer with TACT for many years and I spent time with him and his foster children regularly and, therefore, understood how things worked. I chose TACT because he had had a positive experience working with them.
Both of my parents were fostered, and my father was unable to trace his family sadly. I lost my mother when I was a toddler and I think this experience has made me a really good mother, as I know how it feels not to have one. Most children in care have been through some kind of trauma so I think it’s about being aware that there may be bumps in the road that will be challenging. Training is important.
The application process was pretty straight forward and I enjoyed my sessions with the Social Worker, when she would come and visit. The members of the Panel were welcoming and really made me feel at ease.
Once I was approved to foster, I was really excited and wanted to get ‘started’ as soon as possible. My first foster child arrived after only a few weeks. She was quite a mature 14-year-old who stayed with me for 5 months. She was on an emergency placement, previously running away and very vulnerable. It was difficult for her as she just wanted to run around with her friends, and given her age, that wasn’t possible. I made sure she was warm and comfortable, offering a bath, warm clothes and a fluffy blanket.
I have since provided a longer-term home for younger siblings, a girl and boy. They arrived just before Christmas, so it was hot chocolate and Christmas movies
When I first heard about the children, I knew they had been sharing a bedroom, but I had the space to offer them each a room of their own, which was something they really wanted. I was lucky to have the space to accommodate the children together and I’m sure if carers had the right help, they would be keen to welcome siblings. I get so much support and encouragement from TACT.
The benefit of keeping foster brothers and sisters together is that they support each other. My two foster children are close in age so play well together. I guess it’s a busy household with children, often with different needs, but they do support each other. We had a horse for years and the children loved helping. We also have dogs that the children adore and they help make a therapeutic, happy home. My foster children have no real contact with their birth family so really need each other.
Fostering is rewarding. My foster son has a motor disability and his speech was difficult to understand at first. I think someone giving him the time and really listening has given him confidence and his speech has really improved. He also has a learning disability. I had to suitably prepare for that. I also took time to become familiar with his disability and did a lot of research to understand it and be able to support him.
I enjoy seeing my foster children grow in confidence and providing them with a secure stable environment where they can thrive.